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Losing a pet can be a terrifying experience. Pets are part of the family, and you may feel helpless when they become lost without the means of finding their way home. The first thing to remember is that it can happen to anyone. Even though they are part of your family, they are still animals. They can be easily distracted and wander off in the few seconds that you turn away from them. If you have lost a pet, don't panic; there are various things you can do to help find them. The best way to avoid a lost pet is through preventative measures.
 
Why Do Pets Run Away?
There are many factors as to why your pet may run away. It may be due to boredom or loneliness, fear from an unexpected event or a sudden curiosity if doors or windows are left open. Cats and dogs are also known to wander off in search of their old, familiar surroundings if they have recently relocated to a new home.
 
Loss Prevention
Enclosures: Make sure all of your fences, gates, windows and doors are secure. Pets are also known to often escape from vehicles when left unattended.
Entertainment: Make sure that your pet doesn't get bored. Dogs love getting into trouble and there are plenty of curious cats. Make sure your pet has plenty of different 1. Toys & Treats to choose from. Rotate them around to maintain their interest. Give them 2. Greenies or a 3. Chew Bone to keep them entertained. These will also help maintain healthy teeth.
 
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Documentation: Ensure that your pet's paperwork is in order. This includes health certificates as well as photographs. Take pictures of your pet often. It is extremely beneficial if your pet does become lost, to display recent photographs that will aid in the identification of your pet.
Identification: Make sure your dog or cat has proper ID tags that are updated regularly. It should have a phone number and street address with the city and state. A dog can cover 30 miles in just an hour. There are a variety of 4. Personalized ID tags , 5. Dog-e-Tags to choose from. There is also the 6. Home Again - Pet Recovery system, which is a tiny microchip that helps you connect you and your pet to a comprehensive pet recovery service. As requested, HomeAgain will send you a wallet-sized identification card for your pet, updated with vaccination and emergency contact information.
 
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Collars: Make sure your pet has a collar that fits properly. Cats have been known to get their collars snagged on objects which cause the collar to break off. Use a piece of string to measure the animal's neck, adding another two inches for comfort-this is the size collar that you need. To keep your cat from breaking their collar, check out 7. Cat Break-Away Collars. There are also a wide selection of 8. Dog Collars. Give your dog the latest, high-tech collar, 9. the Zoombak GPS Dog Protection System. This is an advanced GPS locator that can track your dog's whereabouts in real time just by simply logging into zoombak.com, cell phone or by live customer care.
 
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Leashes: Make sure that whenever you and your pet are outdoors that your pet has on a leash. The great outdoors harbor many distractions that may cause your pet to act erratically. A leash will prevent your pet from straying too far from you. 10. Flex-Retractable Leashes give your dog the feeling of freedom and movement it needs outside while the Flexi one-hand braking system helps you restrain your dog and prevent your pet from getting lost.
Training: If you have a dog, behavioral training can be one of the most beneficial things you can do to prevent pet loss. Make sure your dog is familiar with being on a leash, and follows your simple commands such as "sit" and "stay."
 
Finding Your Lost Pet
The Familiar: Check the places that may be familiar to your pet
The unfamiliar: Look for your pet in unusual places in the home (storm drains, ditches, ventilation pipes.)
Advertise: Make big, easily noticeable signs that include a recent photo of your pet. Offer a reward if possible. Put an ad in the newspaper or on the Internet.
Recruit: Go door-to door and ask your neighbors if they have seen your pet. Once they know about it, they may be able to help keep an eye out for your pet.
Contact: Call your veterinarians and shelters in the area. Give them your number in case they need to call you to confirm identity. Visit your local shelters everyday. You know what your pet looks like more than anyone else.
Don't give up: Pets who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.